Top positive review
A Valuable Book for new Entrepreneurs
May 21, 2016
The title of this book is a misnomer. There is no "breakthrough" to be found here. Everything the book covers are basic, tried and true tenants of marketing and sales development that have been codified and refined over decades and, in some cases, generations. The important marketing building blocks of Positioning, Differentiation, Targeting, Personas, and so on are covered, but not in great depth. For instance, in 1981, Al Ries wrote the seminal marketing book: "Positioning - The Battle for Your Mind", which is a nearly 500 page study of just this one concept. In Mr. Diehl's book it's covered in a few pages. However, it is covered quite well.
In some cases Mr. Diehl makes simply uninformed statements. For instance on page 76 he talks of a "New phenomenon in marketing called Education Marketing". In fact, companies like John Deere and DeBeers Diamond were doing education marketing 100 years ago. Before the advent of radio advertising most companies utilized long form education marketing because there were not the time constraints of the 30-second broadcast ad. In the last 10 years, education marketing has come back into vogue because people have become so numbed by the overwhelming onslaught of short form advertising they are subjected to, they simply tune it out. “Content Marketing”, which is simply old-school education marketing, is the new marketing buzz-word.
Mr. Diehl’s book ranges far-a-field and sometimes seems to lack focus. It covers multiple subjects in marketing and sales and even touches on subjects like executive presence and the importance of a good phone voice. This is not a fault, as I believe the author is just excited to give his audience all the important information he can, but it is a distraction.
Here is where the book shines and where I think it’s quite substantial value is: The book is targeted towards young entrepreneurs who, perhaps, lack a formal business education or real entrepreneurial experience. The subjects Mr. Diehl covers are absolutely essential to the success of any entrepreneurial endeavor. Many entrepreneurs get into business because they have an idea and passion, energy and a lot of heart. These attributes will take you far, but I've seen so many young organizations fail, crashing the hopes, dreams and financial fortunes of their founders along with them, simply because there was no knowledge of basic business fundamentals.
Brand Identity Breakthrough does an excellent job of introducing some of the most important components of a successful brand development, marketing and sales program. Mastery of these components is central to any company's success. In my 30 year business career I have started 12 companies and I have consulted with many more. I have found that being successful in business is really just a matter of understanding how business works, what its fundamental building blocks are, and the levers you can pull as a manager to accomplish your goals. This book illustrates very well the building blocks surrounding the marketing and sales process. By reading the book, new entrepreneurs will learn about business functions and skillsets that they will desperately require to be successful. Just the knowledge of a proper marketing and sales system will save many businesses from making critical mistakes.
Simply put, the book is a very good overview and conceptual primer on many critically important marketing and sales functions. Reading it will help any new entrepreneur immeasurably.
Mr. Diehl is a very talented writer, and he is able to illustrate complex ideas in easy to understand, sometimes almost poetic language. He often speaks about the purpose and practice of business in philosophical terms that are evocative and powerful. This is Mr. Diehl’s first book, and, in my opinion, he has the potential to be a very influential and accomplished business writer.
Brand Identity Breakthrough is light on actual application and tactical practice. It would be great if the author would follow it up with a more "hands-on" guide to implementing the principles he writes about here. Perhaps that is in the plans, but for now, as an easy-to-read overview of critically important business functions, that can spell the difference between success and failure, the book is spot on and highly valuable.